REDDITCH’S bus operator, Diamond Bus, said it is ‘not viable’ for them to take part in the government’s £2 fare cap scheme.

Nationwide, around 130 companies have introduced a £2 fare cap on single tickets until March 31 thanks to £60 million in government funding to bring down ticket prices.

However, Diamond Bus says despite the funding, the majority of Rotala Plc’s subsidiaries, which is the holding company that controls Diamond Bus, will be ‘out of pocket’,

A spokesperson for the operator said: “As part of the Department of Transport (DfT) fare cap initiative, some government funding is available to operators to cover the costs of the fare cap reduction.

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“However, due to the way the reimbursements are calculated, the majority of Rotala Plc subsidiaries would be left considerably out of pocket and would suffer a huge revenue loss if we took part in the scheme.

“As a business, we are still recovering from the effects of revenue loss from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“To participate in the scheme means the business would effectively itself have to fund over 20 per cent of the offer to passengers that would not be covered by government funding.

“We have been in discussion with the DfT regarding this, but unfortunately their position is fixed and therefore this scheme would not be a viable option for us to undertake in these regions.”

Diamond Bus increased ticket prices last September with a single journey now costing £2.10, therefore passengers will be missing out on a 10p saving for the next three months.

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Worcestershire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, Mike Rouse, said it’s ‘a pity’ Diamond Bus has not joined the scheme but there is ‘just a 10p difference’.

He said: “I know every little helps, but if it’s a case of Diamond Buses losing thousands of pounds because of the scheme and potentially having to withdraw routes as a result and me paying an extra 10p, I’d rather pay the 10p and keep the routes.”

However, the Labour group for the town say Redditch has lost out on government bus funding again.

A spokesperson said: “Redditch Labour Party would like to see the reintroduction of a regulated bus service - one which is run for people and not for profit.

"This system awards contracts subject to affordable fares and reliability - the two key issues which Worcestershire needs to address across the county.

"Time to put the passengers in Redditch first."